hardy Californians….I hope

At the Mother’s Day plant sale at DBG, there were an awful lot of unusual plants calling to me in their plant-like ways. After I got a cart because my cardboard flats wouldn’t hold everything I wanted (the cart wouldn’t either, but that’s another story), I went back to pick up a couple of Californians that looked like they wanted some attention.

I told them they were gorgeous and I liked them a lot and knew just what to do with them, had a nice special bed for them, and took them home with me.

For one thing, check out these leaves.

Malacothamnus fasciculatus ‘Casita’

Malacothamnus fremontii

Now, you may be thinking, since when are malacothamnuses hardy in Denver? (You probably don’t even want to say anything like that. Try this instead: since when are bush mallows hardy in Denver?)

Well, they aren’t hardy in the sense that they look the same the next spring as they did the autumn before that; they come back from the roots. I don’t have room for anything 20 feet tall in the front yard, even with those leaves. The flowers aren’t showy but that’s no big deal. And anyway, Denver is not in New England. It never rains in the winter here, the sun is almost always shining; when it gets cold, it’s only cold for a few days, etc. That makes a difference, believe me.

I’ve grown these bush mallows before, and, yes, they died, but lots of things die here that everyone else can grow, so that doesn’t mean anything to me.

For some odd reason, Lester Rowntree didn’t mention bush mallows in either of her books, or if she did, they were under another name and I’ve spaced it out.

Anyway, here’s hoping. I bought all the plants that DBG had put out, so if they make it through this winter, and there are more for sale next year ….well, I’ll buy all those, too.

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